Ray Richmond contributes to Deadline’s TCA coverage.
An extremely chatty and ebullient Arsenio Hall proved he’s ready to leap back into the late-night talk fray at TCA this afternoon, holding court onstage and showing a certain reluctance to leave during a session that ran nearly 15 minutes overtime. Hall’s new CBS Television Distribution syndie effort premieres September 9 and is cleared in all of the major markets. It’s been 19 years since Hall departed the late-night air with his Paramount talker and 16 years since both short-lived The Keenan Ivory Wayans Show and Vibe premiered in fall 1997. Hall was positively giddy while chattering about his plans for the new show. When he left the nightly air nearly two decades ago, the Internet was still more or less in its infancy and social media was non-existent. Consequently, he’s planning for social media to be a big part of the new show. “It can drive people from the computer to the TV screen,” he said. “But it’s not necessarily essential. [Jay] Leno isn’t really into it, and yet he’s No. 1…I’m excited to jump back into it. When you write a joke and you’re able to use Google (for you’re research)…I can’t wait to write jokes and do comedy and prepare interviews in this digital world.” When asked how the look and the feel of The Arsenio Hall Show will be, he indicated that it’s not really going to be so different from any other show. “Basically, what I’ll do is just assert my personality and hope people will hang with me…But the challenges are gigantic now. What I’ve got to be is better than one guy that’s there already. You don’t have to go after Chelsea’s fans or Leno’s fans to be in the game.” (more…)